The NIHR School for Primary Care Research (SPCR) is currently inviting applications for their annual Primary Care Clinician Career Progression Fellowships, which this year are available to primary care clinicians practising in the UK, including general dental practitioners.
Aimed at primary care clinicians who want to start or continue a career in primary care research, the part-time, one-year Fellowships are an opportunity to further develop an academic portfolio in preparation to apply for and conduct a PhD.
The Fellowships can be undertaken at any one of the School’s nine member universities and applicants do not have to be employed by a member university when applying for the Fellowship. Details of each of the universities and their available research programmes can be found here.
In addition to the research opportunities available at each SPCR university, successful applicants will have access to a range of benefits offered by SPCR, including specialised training opportunities, networking, additional funding, mentoring and NIHR Academy membership.
Before applying for a Fellowship, applicants are advised to check that their proposed research project is compatible with the NIHR remit and are encouraged to contact their preferred university to discuss hosting their planned research.
Anyone wishing to apply can download the application form and find more information about the application process here.
Applications close on Monday 25 April 2022 (midnight), online interviews will be held on Thursday 9 June 2022 and the awards start from August 2022.
The Primary Dental Journal Archive is now up and running, with access for CGDent members fully established.
The Primary Dental Journal (PDJ) is the College of General Dentistry’s quarterly peer-reviewed journal, and with its unique dedication to general dental practice, is widely recognised as a leading resource for all dental professionals working in primary care.
Three themed issues in each annual volume explore topics of interest and relevance to the primary care dental team, led by an invited Guest Editor who is a renowned expert in the field, with one ‘general issue’ per volume covering a wide range of topics.
Published by the Faculty of General Dental Practice until its transfer into the College earlier this year, PDJ was first issued in October 2012, and was preceded by Primary Dental Care.
As well as receiving quarterly printed copies of the latest issues of PDJ, College members now have exclusive online access not only to the full articles in the current issue, but to all past PDJ content and all Primary Dental Care content published this century, a rich resource of over 1,300 articles spanning 23 volumes and 88 issues.
Curated by our publishing partner, SAGE Publishing, the PDJ Archive is an invaluable research tool, offering a wide array of clinical papers of ongoing relevance to general dental care, as well as articles covering a range of professional topics which continue to be discussed and debated.
It offers members access to content which they may not have received in print at the point of publication, and for those who were longstanding members of the FGDP and may prefer to consult their library of print issues, the online search functionality will enable them to quickly identify where to find particular articles.
Members may be interested to note that the College is now co-producing a series of webinars that examine topics covered in recent and imminent issues of PDJ. These are free to view live, with CGDent members also offered a free CPD certificate and free on-demand access to the recordings. Visit our events page for a list of upcoming live webinars and to access recent webinar recordings.
Researchers at Newcastle University are studying the prevalence of medical emergency events in primary dental care, and the confidence of the dental team in managing them.
The project is part of an NHS Health Education England North East research programme, and CGDent members are asked to support the research by giving a few minutes of their time to complete a short online questionnaire:
Participants should be a dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist based in general dental practice, specialist practice or community dental services, and can enter a prize draw on completion to win a £50 Amazon voucher.
A study supported by the University of Kent is looking at the prescription, manufacture and fitting of flexible dentures by dentists and clinical dental technicians who practise in the UK and are members of the College of General Dentistry.
We encourage College members to support this research, which is led by Ali Al Bayati AssocFCGDent, by sparing a few minutes of their time to complete this short survey.
Qasim Mohammedbhai, fifth year BDS student at King’s College London, explains the benefits of conducting research whilst at university or as a dental practitioner.
In this blog I am going to be talking about getting involved in research, either as an undergraduate, postgraduate or even a fully-fledged member of the dental team. The two questions I am going to address are:
How do I get involved in research?
What can I gain and how can I benefit from doing research?
In answer to the first question I will tell you about how I got involved in research. I got on really well with one of the professors at King’s College, Dr Ian Thompson, luckily, he was one of the teachers that had a lot of time to give to his students. I was always interested in research so I asked him whether I could get involved. He did a lot of work with bioactive ceramics, a burgeoning area of research within dentistry. From that point forward, we worked on a project which tests the ability of bioactive ceramics to prevent dentine hypersensitivity.
So how can you get involved in research? My first piece of advice is to think about what you are interested in. It will make the work you do a lot more engaging and far more relevant. For me that happened to be dental material science. The next thing is asking around, be it your personal tutor, PhD students, or senior dentists in practice, and ask them whether they know of any research opportunities. This is where studying or working in a teaching dental hospital is invaluable, as there are so many research opportunities available. I had to ask a lot of people before I landed my research project, so you need to persevere with it.
NB. Remember you are not pestering them; you are going to be a valuable asset as you will be the one doing a lot of the hard work!
The second question is what skills can one gain from doing research. Now the obvious one is something to write on your CV, but there are far more useful things to be gained:
1. Lateral Thinking In research things always go wrong. Results will be off, the methodology won’t work out or the machine breaks, the list goes on and on. Ultimately, it is up to you to find a way around this hurdle. It can be very frustrating at times, but it hones your problem-solving skills. If you speak to the experienced clinicians, they will tell you that is what dentistry is all about.
2. Perseverance Research is not as glamorous as it may seem. At times it can be cumbersome and disheartening when things are not going your way. This is where determination and patience are invaluable.
3. Critical appraisal One of my clinical supervisors always used to say: “If you have a patient seen by 5 different dentists, you’ll end up with 6 different care plans”. What this means is that unlike medicine there is no set guideline or protocol for dental treatment. Ultimately, the choice is in the hands of the practitioner. The way one decides is by reading papers, but these need to be critically examined and not blindly followed. Once you have carried out experiments of your own and evaluated your own research, you can understand the shortcomings of other experiments. Experiments can be hard to visualise, so the analogy I offer is imagine reading about doing an extraction versus actually doing one yourself. There is something to be said about actually doing the procedure in order to properly understand it.
4. Public Speaking This is a skill you learn by experience alone. Academics get the opportunity to discuss their research at conferences in front of large audiences. In my case, I was fortunate enough to give a talk at the British Dental Hygienist and Therapists conference and present a poster at the annual biomaterials conference.
In summary research is not a members-only club and is easier to get involved in than you may think. Not only does it enhance your CV, but more importantly it enables you to develop a number of skills, key to becoming a successful dental practitioner.
I am a final year dental student at King’s College London. During my five years of university I have found an interest in Prosthodontics and research. Outside of Dentistry my biggest hobby is sport. I have competed in first teams for hockey, table tennis and squash. Another passion of mine is languages, I speak Spanish, Italian, Gujarati and am currently learning Arabic.
This student advice blog was originally published by FGDP(UK) in March 2020 and has been republished by the College of General Dentistry with the author’s permission.
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